Tinson1 started his Third Year Physics exams in Trinity College today. He isn’t home yet so I don’t know how he got on. He was unusually nervous, perhaps because it seems that there are no repeats this year. If you get above a certain score you get to go on, if you get below it then that’s it, you leave with something like a diploma, and I’d say that a person with a Diploma in Physics has as much chance as being allowed near an atom-splitter and as I’d have of being allowed to design a suspension bridge on the basis that I once owned a set of Lego.
Yesterday I told him all the things that I was told as I faced exams, that he’ll be fine, that he’s very clever, that he’s been studying all year and is bound to know more than he thinks, just at this moment, that he does.
I also told him that I remember being told all of these things myself and that they didn’t help my nerves in any way at all.
But I told him that we love him and are proud of him as a person, not as a student, and I texted him this morning to tell him all of that again, in case he really is less clever than we think he is and it didn’t sink in the first time.
When he sat in front of the first paper this morning and realised that there were things on it that he could answer I hope that he started to relax. He deserves to succeed and to continue his journey, step by step, toward doing what he really wants to do.
Best of luck today and all of this week, my son.
Tinson1 and his class were yesterday given details of the graduation ceremony that they will enjoy next year, an oddly optimistic move considering they have yet to face exams both this year and next.
Anyway, on the day he will turn up, looking like the Hogwarts’ Master of the Dark Arts in his mortar board and cloak, in the Great Hall of Trinity College. We will watch proudly as his name is read out in Latin (Tinsonnus Maximus) and he is presented with a piece of rolled-up parchment in a red ribbon, informing the world that he now has a degree in Physics and therefore officially has the ability to calculate the density of a black hole, invent warp drive and switch off the Large Hadron Collider if he‘s the last one leaving the lab in the evenings.
When the formalities (formalitae) are over there will be a reception in the class’s own Science Block where there will be refreshments (vino veritas) and music (pro bono), and it is here that I reach the point of today’s post. It seems that a sign at the entrance of this building informs All Ye Who Would Enter Here that since there are experiments going on all the time there are a number of strong magnetic fields emanating from the labs, and that anyone with a pacemaker should basically feckius off.
It looks as if I will have to settle for sitting outside, with the occasional cocktail sausage or pineapple-and-cheese-on-a-stick being passed out to me through a window.
Since I know little about Physics (ignoramus) I’m not sure what might happen if I went in anyway. Perhaps I would stick to the ceiling. Perhaps all of the walls would act as repelling magnets and I would be pinned by an invisible force to the very centre of the room, well away from the champagne. Perhaps (a long shot probably, though I have the same hope if I’m ever struck by lightning) I would develop superpowers.
Or perhaps I might simply explode.
Tinito ergo boom, in fact.
One of the girls from the office is being conferred with a Masters Degree from Trinity this afternoon.
Because Trinity is such an ancient venerable college her name will be both called out and written on the degree in Latin. Her full name is Ellen Mildred Garth (well, it isn’t, but it is three names similar to that), and she tells us that in Latin she will be Ellenus Mildredus Garthus.
Is it only me who suspects that they’re just taking a wild guess?
I know that few people are fluent in Latin these days, so it can’t be easy for the conferring committee, but surely they could do a bit more research than simply watching Gladiator?
I can’t wait for Tinson1’s conferring, three years from now:
Your name is Tinsonus Maximus Tinmanus,
Commander of the skills of Science,
General-ly found in the Trinity Bar,
Loyal servant to the true fashion-aid, Brylcreem Hair-gel.
Son to a nutball father,
Son also to his saner wife,
And you will have your degree, in this language or in Erse.
I can feel myself welling up with pride already.